If your health does not matter as much to you as to make you quit smoking, if the fact that the smokers' sperm can produce malformed children does not affect you, at least the fact that smoking really affects the health of your children should worry you.
of researchers from University of Leicester Medical School and Warwick University has found that children having at least one smoking parent have 5.5 times higher amounts of cotinine - a byproduct of nicotine (a chemical that emerges when the organism degrades nicotine from inhaled smoke in order to expel it) - in their urine.
When the smoker is the mother, the cotinine levels in the urine quadrupled, while when the smoker is the father the cotinine amounts double. Sleeping with parents and lower temperature rooms were linked to higher levels of cotinine.
Cotinine was assessed in 104 urine samples coming from 12-week old infants; 71 of these babies had at least one parent that smoked. "Babies affected by smoke tend to come from poorer homes, which may have smaller rooms and inadequate heating. Higher cotinine levels in colder times of year may be a reflection of the other key factors which influence exposure to passive smoking, such as poorer ventilation or a greater tendency for parents to smoke indoors in winter.", said the researchers.
Previous researches had shown that sleeping with a parent who's a smoker increases the risk of cot death, by direct inhalation of smoke or closeness to clothing and other objects contaminated with smoke particles, during sleep. About 40% of children under five years old are thought to be exposed to tobacco smoke at home, and this could be the cause of up to 6,000 annual deaths in the US alone in young children. "Babies and children are routinely exposed to cigarette smoking by their carers in their homes, without the legislative protection available to adults in public places."